Seeking perfection in today’s business world is not a successful business strategy. This does not mean that the need for excellence, great customer service, and preparation and planning has to be left to chance. However, when you don’t fixate on perfection it means you can move forward with a business idea without waiting until all elements are exactly right.
Don’t get caught up in the Perfection Trap: the illusion that everything has to be just right before you will launch. It often serves as an accelerator that moves you beyond what is needed and keeps you from working smarter. It freezes you into over-thinking everything and talking yourself out of even starting. The other problem with trying to achieve perfection is that it is really a moving target.
Here are three Perfection Traps and how you can free yourself from their grip. —Sheri Riley
Perfection Trap 2: Everything must be just right.
You are ready to move, but you are still “dotting the i’s” and “crossing the t’s.” You have prepared, researched, and have put in all of the planning but will not launch or implement because every element and detail is not just as you thought it would — or should — be. This Perfection Trap gives you the satisfaction of working hard, but it is not the smart decision. Your desire for perfection limits your ability to improve and make things better. Many opportunities are pushed by the feedback received from your target audience. Where you may take six months to do your research to perfect something, feedback after you launch may say it is not needed at all or provides you the answers from actual recipients. The saying goes: “Let the baby go and eventually they will walk.”
Perfection Trap 3: You must have full control.
This is your idea and you know what’s best. Yes, you have the vision and can guide the process, but many ideas are killed by the Perfection Trap of control. You will not let go enough for the input and insight of others to excel or enhance and help perfect your idea. You must be able to allow others’ input to have an impact. And, if what they contribute does not work, you are the one in the position to reassess and decide whether you want to continue or eliminate their idea. Be open to possibilities and not trapped by perfection.